An Illinois state agency is demanding legal action after a large tire fire Monday filled the metro-east skyline with black smoke.
The Illinois Environmental Agency announced Friday that it would ask the Illinois Attorney General's Office to seek immediate injunctive relief against Marty's Used Car and Truck Parts on Camp Jackson Road in Cahokia. The tire wire fire caused smoke to spread into an adjacent residential area, according to a news release from Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett.
The EPA also said the business failed to register the site as a used tire storage facility and had open dumping, an EPA violation.
No one could be reached for comment Saturday at Marty's Used Car and Truck Parts.
The fire started after salvage yard employees disassembled a recreational vehicle with a cutting torch. Workers then moved parts of the RV near a pile of shredded tire wire while parts of it still were burning, which ignited the pile. The fire spread to two sheds that contained about 200 tires and other material, according to the news release.
Hot spots remained the morning after the Cahokia Fire Department battled to extinguish the blaze. A private emergency response contractor and the St. Clair County Hazmat Team placed booms and built berms to prevent run-off from the fire entering the adjacent Cahokia Canal. The Hazmat Team performed indoor air sampling of neighboring residences, and one neighbor complained of sooty residue on the exterior of her residence, according to the news release.
Three previous citations for EPA violations at the business were resolved.
The EPA is asking the Attorney General's Office to file an action in St. Clair County Circuit Court seeking immediate injunctive relief to compel Marty's Used Car and Truck Parts Inc. and owner Martin Smith to:
* Immediately remove and properly dispose of all fire debris and other wastes at the facility, including shredded tire wire and roll-off boxes filled with waste.
* Be prohibited from accepting shredded tire wire until the facility is in compliance.
* Obtain current registration as a used tire storage facility and transporter.
* Survey and address any damage caused by the fire to surrounding residences and reimburse the entities that responded to the fire for the expense of materials or berms used to minimize the fire's impact on the environment.
* Provide documentation of all of these activities to the EPA, and cease and desist from further violations.
If you are a resident whose home was damaged as a result of the fire, the EPA recommends you seek cleanup assistance by calling the village of Cahokia at 618-337-9500 or the Illinois EPA at 217-785-3189.